Dad was a very reserved. That being said, no one was funnier or had a drier sense of humor as he had. When you can make dad laugh, you had a sense of arrival. I would give anything to make him laugh once last time.
What spurred this post on was not a memory of dad breaking out in laughter though, but rather something even more rare…
I don’t remember when we first got that huge cabinet that had the LP player, cassette, and 8 track deck in it, but I think we were the first on the block. As we wheeled it into the house and set it up against the wall in the living room/dining room area, I remember the very first 8 track tape my dad put in the player.
It was a Beach Boys greatest hits record. Now, to be honest, my dad was born in 1930 and therefore was more a product of the music of the 40’s and 50’s. In this, it was less on rock and roll and heavy on standards, big band, classical, and jazz.
So all the more to my amazement when Surfin Safari came on the player when something happened I had up to that point never seen before nor did I ever see it again…
Let’s be honest. Listen to that track and who doesn’t want to at least break out into a twist or something.
But it was more than the dance that I remember. It was the joy I saw in a reserved man who did not often show any emotion, if even at all.
If anything ever gives me permission to smile, that memory does.
In this, I wonder how often I give myself permission to break out like that. I wonder how many times I chose to not break out like that only kept my own child left waiting… waiting for the chance to exhale in life every once in a while from the stress and pressures that bear down on us every day.
As I type this, Fun Fun Fun is playing in my ears. In this, I find myself smiling and pondering what it would be like if I could go back in time and put this music on while hanging out with dad.
You know what? I think we’d dance. Have fun, if even for a moment and let loose.
And why not? Life is too short not to.
I hope someday, if it is not too late that my daughter would look back and remember a time when I did the same rather than all the times I let the stress and pressures of life get to me.
With this, what are we teaching our children? Are we teaching them to let life get to us or rather us getting to life?
It’s a posture thing.
God, let me please be about the latter.